FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, I HAVE SLUMBERED! WHO DARES TO-
Wait. I'm pretty sure I've done this before. Eh, that's what happens when you watch DBZ Abridge, you repeat the same old jokes out of habit.
What was I doing again? Oh, right, work. Welcome back, folks! A new chapter of Multiplayer is up for your viewing pleasure!
. . .No, wait. Wrong fic. Riiiiiiiight, this is a new fic, isn't it? Fuck. Well lets start over then.
Welcome to A Jaune of All Trades! To my fans, as promised, here is the fic I've promised since its one-shot back in December. For those of you who are new and stopped in out of curiosity, sup? I hope to make you a fan as well.
Today is October 12th, not really special really. Except if you're me and you're off to watch the screening of RWBY V5 in a theater near you! To celebrate the first episode of V5, I've decided to upload A Jaune of All Trades first chapter! I've had this finished for two months now and had it polished up by my favorite Beta, A Fan1204. I've also begun working on its second chapter and am almost finished with it, so again, I thought why not publish the new story. So, here we are.
Of course, I have a lot to say about the story and its premise. But I'll what I'm able to say at the end of the chapter. For now, why not enjoy the new story. It's got Action, Adventure, Drama, Slice of Life, and your usual hijinks involving Jaune. I've also got to shower and get ready for the premier. I've never been so combat ready in my life. Not even when that damn truck ran me over.
Enjoy the new story.
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to RWBY, all rights belong to RoosterTeeth. I don't even own my own home. I rent this shit! Thank god I don't rent this damn laptop. They probably wouldn't want it back anyways.
. . . .Why are you looking at me like that? As if you're as saintly as me! We both watch a show about sexy highschool girls fighting evil. You knew what this was.
Chapter 1: Debt.
Gray storm clouds fell over the city of Vale, pouring heavy rain onto the puddling streets. Thunder and lightning clashed in an uproar as a lone blond trudged his way aimlessly in the storm. He wore a black hoodie with a bunny rabbit stamped on the front completely drenched in rain water, the damp fabric sticking close to his skin. He wore equally wet pair of faded jeans and black sneakers with a white lining. His hands rested in his pockets, body slouched as he ignored the rainwater soaking into his sneakers.
Jaune was happy for the heavy rain showering over him. It helped to hide the trails of tears running down his cheeks.
What the hell was he thinking? Going out in the streets of Vale with a piggybank full of a year's saved Lien like an idiot. To the common thief passing him by, he was an easy target, putting even a candy sucking baby to shame. It was no wonder one lucky thief was able to snatch his cash from him when he stopped to tie his shoes. The fast bastard. Couldn't even catch up to them as he tripped over some trashcans they had knocked over to distract him. Pain lanced up his right ankle, reminding himself of the horrid bruise crawling up his skin. It must have been a sprain.
A hiccup escaped the blond's throat as he wiped his nose on the sleeve of his wet hoodie.
He was eighteen, damn it! Graduated from high school and was considered a young adult. Jaune was too old to be crying like a child. He even had a job!
Well, had a job. WeeGee's Pizza didn't seem to like the fact he had lost their pizza's while he was out looking for an apartment while on delivery. Another thing to blame on the asshole who robbed him. And of all the times for bad luck to fall on him, it had to be when he left his rent-free home. He could already hear Ruby and Yang's laughter as he came back in such a sorry state.
Or worse, their pity. There was nothing worse than their looks of pity.
Now here he was, walking without any idea of what to do with his life without a job and without a home. Call it pride, but Jaune refused to go back to his friend's place like this. They had pitied him enough. Even if it meant going homeless, he wouldn't go crawling back a soaking mess.
A wave of dirty water smacked Jaune from the sidewalk by a passing car, further soaking his clothes and damaging his pride. He gritted his teeth openly. All the crap the world was throwing at him was too much, the frustration and anger erupted.
"FUCK! WHY CAN'T YOU JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!?" Jaune roared as hot tears continued to fall from his face. He stomped his foot in frustration, only further soaking himself. His body trembled and he fell to his knees in sorrow, not caring if anyone saw him.
Who was he kidding? His sisters always said he couldn't make it on his own. Ever since he was little he always needed help from others. Cooking, sewing, homework, drawing, dressing himself, cleaning, and so much more; they all helped him knowing he couldn't do it by himself. Just a scrawny boy who was helpless on his own. He couldn't even find a place for himself when he had first arrived at Beacon, forgetting the Lien his parent's left him for an apartment on the bullhead ride. If it wasn't for his first friend, Yang Xiao Long and her mother taking him in he would have been homeless.
Just like now.
Doofus. The Color of Failure. Silly Little Jauney-boy. He could hear his old bullies jeering him even after he had seen them off during graduation last month. A hollow chuckle left Jaune's lips as he gazed at the dark clouds above him. How could he hate them when they were right? Graduating from school didn't make him a man. He was the same little boy who left home believing he could make it on his own. Worst part about it all was that he had no idea where to go from here. He never did.
All his friends had futures and were making progress towards their dream jobs. They knew what they wanted to do with their lives, and they were happy. And slowly, they were drifting away from him as they followed their own roads to a brighter future.
But what did he want to do with his life? Jaune had never really thought about it before, shrugging it off as something he'd come up with if he graduated. Any job would do really, he told himself. Especially when his own dream had been broken years ago.
"Maybe it's better this way." Jaune smiled grimly as he decided to just stay where he was. Might as well let the cold rain do its magic. The world didn't need an unproductive blond with no clear future wasting space, "Someone who can't even deliver a simple pizza doesn't deserve to stick around any longer. I'm better off as food for some hungry stray dog. At least then I'd be good for something."
"Nah, pretty sure that dog would turn its nose away in a huff if it found waste laying around the street. Gotta give even a mutt some credit, even they wouldn't eat shit."
The sound of a deep voice chuckling snapped Jaune out of his despair long enough to glare weakly at the person. Suddenly, the rain stopped. Jaune blinked and turned his eyes up, finding a black umbrella above his head. Where did that come from?
Following the arm belonging to the umbrella, Jaune found a set of amused red eyes staring back at him. A man with graying black spiky hair and a slight stubble on his jawline. He wore a red dress shirt, black gentleman's coat, black slacks and dress shoes, and a sliver crooked cross necklace over his neck. The faint whiff of alcohol wafted off the man's clothing even in the heavy rain.
The black-haired man smirked at the confused expression on Jaune's face.
"Cat got your tongue, brat? Normally, you thank a person for shelter from the rain. Didn't your mother ever teach you manners?" he said smoothly.
Jaune nodded, his expression flat as he answered, "Yeah, but she also said never to talk to strangers. Especially if they've been drinking. She also said to start screaming, 'help, help, bad touch, bad touch' if they ever lend me a hand with an expectant look in their eyes."
The strange man scowled, a nerve on his forehead visibly throbbed at the disrespectful tone in the kid's voice, "What the hell kind of thank you is that? And what expectant look? Just because I've been drinking doesn't mean I'm up to no good. That doesn't happen till I'm fifteen drinks under the table and I'm fighting to stay in the bar." he said with a sense of pride. He took a moment to reach for his pocket, fishing out a small silver flask before leaning his head and downing its contents, "And that makes twelve."
What a weird old man. Jaune turned his face away from the semi-drunk man. The lessons his mother had drilled into him gnawed at him, causing him to sigh in defeat before speaking again.
"Thank you, for the small shelter. Even if it won't be of much help." Jaune chuckled weakly, splashing the rain puddle beneath his knees with his scratched hands, "Pretty sure I'm going to end up dying of frost bite or getting a nasty cold. Wasting your time on a cold corpse is a bad way to go about your day."
"That's some morbid thinking there, brat. Normally kids like you who have just graduated high school think they're invincible and on top of the world. Just looking at you is bringing me down."
"Sounds about right. It would be better if you just left me alone. With the day I've been having, I might accidentally rub off some of my bad luck on you. I'm better off dying in the gutter. Maybe I'll be good at that."
Bad luck, huh? A sympathizing grin wormed its way on the man's lips.
"Sorry, but no can-do kid. If I left some random homeless blond die in front of my shop, the value would drop even further. Not to mention the landlady would beat my ass for the foul stench."
Keys jangling brought Jaune's attention back to the strange man smelling of alcohol. It was then that he finally noticed where he was kneeling in front of. An old worn-down shop situated in a small rental home greeted his vision with several trinkets and candy for sell on the shelves. With the man opening the door to the shop, the rain fell back down onto Jaune, pouring rain trickling down his confused face as the red eyed man smirked and gestured his head inside.
"Come on. Pretty sure I got something warm like chicken soup or vodka to warm you up. If my little niece ever found out that I ignored some down on his luck kid in front of my shop, she'd never forgive me."
Jaune didn't budge as he continued to stare at the stranger like he had grown a second head. It wasn't until the man had reached out his hand that he finally blinked. Any bits of hesitation or suspicion vanished as something inside him urged him to accept the kind gesture and the hand reaching out to him.
The man grinned as he pulled Jaune up, patting his soaking back as he led the dazed kid into his shop.
"Name's Qrow by the way. How about you and I have a little chat? I got a proposition that might lift your spirits up and pull you away from that dank gutter of yours."
"Son of a bitch! The newest edition of X-ray and Vav is on sale today!"
A blazing blur of blue shot past the streets of Vale's busy morning traffic. Honks and angry yells followed behind the high velocity blur as it continued for its destination. It ignored the busy traffic, passing by even the fastest of cars.
Jaune Arc could sympathize with them as he ignored the many middle fingers aimed for his back. He too was running late. The bouquet of flowers safely tucked in his backpack wasn't going to deliver itself. He was supposed to bring them to the client's grandmother by nine before she was sent off for surgery today. The only problem with that though was that today was Monday and CockBite Comics had released on their website that the newest edition of their widely popular comic was going to be on sale today.
Which meant every comic book nerd living in their mother's basement or attic was going to be hustling their asses for the newest book in the series. If he didn't make it to the bookstore on time, then they would be completely sold out! And he would be damned if he didn't get his copy by the end of the day.
Another blaring horn roared behind the blond delivery boy. He couldn't help but snarl, ticked off at the impatient bastard behind him as he turned his head to shout at the driver. Jaune's mouth dropped finding a large red delivery truck with blue flames painted on it. It edged closer to his back as if it was going to run him over.
"…Proficient Alpha? Is that you?" he said dully, recognizing the design of the truck after a morphing vehicle in the cartoons he watched on Saturday mornings. What was a Manualbot doing out in daylight? He wasn't a Betrayaton.
The truck driver blared his horn repeatedly at the gawking blond biker. His large vehicle edged closer to bump Jaune's bicycle, not caring if he had to run over the kid.
With a nervous laugh, Jaune quickly swerved out of the way of the driver just as the man got tired of his staring. The trucker flipped his finger at the boy, shouting obscenities as he drove past to make his scheduled drop off.
"And here I thought the Manualbots loved kids." Jaune grumbled, finding the exit out of the freeway to the neighborhood streets. Luckily, the comic store was close to his client's home. He was just going to make a quick stop and buy himself the newest issue of X-ray and Vav before finishing his job. He couldn't afford to mess this job up, it offered 60Lien. Just enough to make rent for the day if all his jobs were completed. Now Silvia wouldn't be up his ass about his late rent.
For this month. He still owned her the late fee for the last one. For a pretty lady with hypnotic hips, she could be savage.
Swerving past another oncoming vehicle, Jaune turned towards the next lane, sighing as he was finally free of the heavy traffic. About time, his ears were starting to ache from all the blaring horns and curses. Now it was smooth sailing until he reached the bookstore. With the lack of cars on the street to look out for, Jaune decided now was a good chance to see what his day's schedule would be like. Scroll in hand, he pulled out his memo's page.
'Monday's Work Schedule:
9am-Deliver Mrs. Brandie's Flowers.
10am-Cut Mr. Jefferson's Lawn.
12pm-Deliver Groceries for Mrs. Bale.
12:30-5:00pm-Fix up Shop and run register.
Total Expected Lien for the day:120 Lien.'
Jaune sighed at his earnings, knowing it wasn't enough. Rent for his shop was 2,100Lien, very hefty when you looked at it. But his place was big for having three floors. The second floor had six rooms for god's sake! Often times it made Jaune wonder what the old dusty crow used to do with all that room. Eh, questions better left unanswered he supposed.
A good week of steady freelance work netted him 300 or more Lien. Times that by four weeks and add in the profits he made from selling items from inside his shop, and Jaune made about 2,000 or so Lien a month. That was not close to enough to pay off rent. He was sure if he had any other sane landlord under contract, they would have evicted his ass a long time ago. Not Silvia though. No, that woman had ways to make up for the lack of payment and his ever-growing debt to her. Sometimes he wondered if she only kept him around for free work and the enjoyment of threatening him.
'I got too much Jaune time on my hands. As much fun as it is to play games and read comic books all day, I need more work. I barely have enough to keep my fridge fully stocked.' Jaune thought tiredly as he shut off his scroll.
Along with rent, he also had to pay for power and running water. Unfortunately, he didn't have the luxury to pay for cable or heat. Of course, he paid off the important bills before rent seeing as he wouldn't have enough to fully pay for it. And guilt-fully he also used his Lien to feed his comic book and video game obsession. Maybe he'd have more money if he cut back on his habits, but he was only human.
Worrying about his financial situation was nothing new for him. It was sadly something he had gotten used to these past three months. Before the old owner of the odd jobs shop had left the business to Jaune, he had made sure the kid had enough to pay off the first month's rent. The second month had been grueling with little work and full of anxiety. And the third month he had racked up a debt and become the landlord's bitch, her words, not his. Now he was at month four and found himself repeating the third month. At the rate he was going now, it wouldn't be long until she legally owned his precious ass.
'I need to find more work, fast. I don't want to become a burden to anyone else again.' he thought frustratingly. 'No one would take in a slacker who isn't capable of providing a simple lunch.' Well, most wouldn't.
A woman with wild raven hair styled in a ponytail, red eyes, pale smooth skin, and a bountiful chest suddenly came to mind. The woman in his thoughts had a seductive leer in her eyes as she licked her lips hungrily, causing Jaune to sweat as he felt his body heat up. He gulped dryly before shaking the image away.
'Yeah, I definitely don't want to go back. I'm not sure I could last against her teasing any longer.' Jaune was basically a grown man now. There was little reason why he shouldn't cross that line. Other than the whole sleeping with his friend's mother thing and getting the shit beat out of him.
Luckily Jaune didn't have to think much on the matter anymore as his sights caught the bookstore ahead. Peeking at his watch, he was relieved to see he still had enough time to take care of his personal business. Slowing down, Jaune eased his bike into the parking rail by the entrance of the store's door to lock his bike. With a click of the chain he carried, Jaune moved quickly past the door to grab his comic.
Tukson's Book Trade, home to all the books under Remnant. It was just a slogan of course, but Tukson did have an impressive selection of literature you couldn't get anywhere else. It was run by a kind yet stern faunus, Tukson Wild. Not only was he a good guy, but he was also a client he had recently found. Whenever he had ordered a large shipment of supplies and books, the puma faunus would call on his services for help. Hopefully he would continue having Tukson as a client for the future, he had been doing well since he began helping the owner last month with biweekly shipments.
Inside the store was a massive collection of literature of all kinds. Simple stories, textbooks for school, do it yourself books, manga, comics, and novels that ranged from adventure to smut of all things. At least he knew were to stop by when Blake's birthday came up again. Along with books, the store also sold fan collectables and even games and toys based on certain popular books. With so much to offer, Tukson's place did fairly well. But stepping in, it was strangely devoid of any customers.
Jaune shrugged, not questioning it seeing as it meant he was free to buy his copy of X-ray and Vav with no hassle. He still had a job to finish after all.
Behind the glass counter of the store, Tukson smirked as Jaune made his way up to him. The faunus man already had an idea as to what the kid wanted.
"Look who it is, Mr. Give-Me-Money is here for his daily fix." Tukson grinned widely, earning a small glare from the blond freelancer, "Don't you have rent to pay? You know, a good friend would help stop his buddy from spending his money on useless things and focus on the important stuff. I can't have a paying customer going homeless because he decided to waste his money on picture books instead of a roof over his head."
"Don't patronize me, Tukson! And they're adult literature! How many times do we have to have this argument?" Jaune growled with a twitch in his eye. For a guy who was laid back, Tukson could be rather judgmental. Damn bastard simply didn't understand the art and finesse of comics and their story telling.
"As many times as it takes for you to finally buy something that doesn't have pictures on every page." Tukson said flatly before shaking his head in amusement, "Seriously though, don't you have rent coming up? I'm not saying to not buy anything from my humble little store, but shouldn't you be thinking about not becoming homeless?"
Jaune waved his hand around carelessly in a show of how he didn't care, "I'll be fine. This month is going to be different, I just might have enough to pay off Silvia for this month. But in order to do that, I need you to run along to the back," he grinned brightly, gesturing his fingers in a walking motion to represent his faunus friend, "And get me the newest limited edition of X-ray and Vav, Shipping Mania. And then I'll be on my way to my paying job, happy and carefree!"
Tukson nodded his head in understanding, playing along with Jaune as he grinned smugly, "Yeah, I'd do that, I really would. But! I got some bad news for you." he said ominously with a dark chuckle that sent chills down Jaune's spine, "We're sold out of X-ray and Vav #103."
The world shattered before Jaune and his body froze, the life in his eyes dying with his hopes and dreams. Tukson could swear he saw the boy's spirit try to leave him.
"What did you say?" Jaune asked lowly as he felt his will to live die.
"Yeah, sorry to say that I've had a literal campground of nerds waiting outside of my doors since yesterday. The second my doors opened, they swam in in droves and paid top dollar for the issue along with just about every collectable in the shop. Say what you want about those no life's, but their money is as good as some aristocrats." Tukson said mirthfully. He would never understand what drove a person to go to such lengths for something as trivial as a comic book. He didn't care either way, one person's obsession was another one's salary.
Jaune dropped his forehead onto the glass counter with a cry, a gray cloud of depression falling over him as he weakly pounded the surface.
"Those damn weebs! All I wanted was to enjoy a nice comic before going back to my unsteady work, but those trolls just had to ruin that for me too! It's League of Fables all over again!"
He could already picture those smug bastards, their neck fat jiggling as they laughed over him with dirty fingers running along the pristine cover of his favorite comic menacingly. A good third of them would never even read it! They would just shove it somewhere, away from the world of reading eyes, to collect dust to one day sell for more Lien. Of course, Jaune would do the same after reading it several times, but he was still pissed!
It seemed the world just wouldn't stop kicking him. down It was having too much fun.
Tukson chuckled at the mad, teary eyes of the blond boy staring up at him. Yeah, puppy dog eyes didn't work on a puma.
"Sorry, kid. But I can't help you with something that doesn't even exist in this store anymore. You're just going to have to go back to work without your little book. Or you could actually buy a well written book this time." he said with an amused scoff. Like that would ever happen.
Jaune pouted as he cleaned his face, "I'd have that comic if I didn't have a working life. Lucky care free bastards." he said bitterly with a sigh.
Those days of living without a care no longer existed in Jaune's future. Not if he wanted to continue keeping the roof above his head. Things had been so much easier when he lived with his friends.
'You know you wanna~! Don't be afraid, I'll help you along. Just trust me and let my hands do all the work.'
Jaune gulped as a shiver ran down his spine, his face lightly blushing as the dark tempting voice returned. His head spun around in fear, looking out for any sings of jet black raven hair and red leering eyes. Even when she wasn't around, he could still feel her!
Tukson quirked a brow at the blond freelancer's odd behavior. It almost looked like he was looking out for a spy.
"You okay, Jaune? Don't tell me the lack of a comic book is giving you a panic attack?"
Jaune chuckled weakly as he shook his head, his eyes peeled for a certain raven-haired mother, "Nah, I'm good! I was just thinking back to the good old days!"
The good old days of being blue balled that is.
With no reason to be hanging around any longer, Jaune shoved his hands into his hood's pocket as he gave the kind puma faunus a small smile. It was time to go back to work. Maybe it was a good thing that he couldn't buy his comic. He was running it close to paying off the rent anyway.
"Well, I got to go. My client is still waiting on me to deliver those flowers to his grandmother. I can't lose this paycheck, otherwise Silvia's having my left nut for dinner."
"That's not a joke, is it?"
"You know god damn well it's not a joke." The woman was terrifying.
Turning for the door with a wave good-bye, Jaune was ready to head out before the bell rung out, alerting them to a customer coming in. The bell kept ringing as Jaune frowned at the several guests walking through, the first of the them to enter walking straight past him as if he wasn't there. The man was as tall as Jaune, his back slouched with his hands inside his torn leather jacket. He wore ripped black jeans with chains lopped around the belt, designer black and red sneakers, an open black leather jacket with sharp studs and a white wife beater shirt. The man's lower face was hidden by a bandanna serving as a mask, designed with a toothy grin. His leaf green hair was spiked back, his red eyes lazily staring back at the scowling shopkeeper.
"Lock the door." he grunted, gesturing his head to one of the similarly dressed men filling in the store.
Jaune felt uneasy, now stuck in the middle of something he probably shouldn't be witnessing. He gulped as two of the grunts fell beside him, crossing their arms over their chest as they silently leered at him, daring him to make a sound.
The leader of the grunts nodded in satisfaction, his eyes never leaving Tukson. He smirked underneath his bandanna.
"Tukson, been a while since we last talked, hasn't it? Forgive me for trespassing during working hours, but there seems to be a matter of discussion we must hash out. See, the thing is one of my boys keeping up with our book keeping made a mistake. He tells me that the payment plan we were discussing wasn't running through, that we haven't received a single dime for our lustrous services." he said kindly, his eyes shut as his hands slammed down on the counter top. He leaned over, his red eyes scowling at the glaring faunus, "Course, I knew that was bullshit. So, I broke a bone in the guy for making a mistake and went to work on it myself. Now, mind telling me why I just lost a boy to an error on your part? Because I'd love to hear the answer."
"That's simple, because I refuse to pay for your crap." Tukson glowered as the thugs' eyes narrowed dangerously, "I've told you this before, Drake, I don't work with punks. Especially wannabe White Fang supporters."
Drake felt insulted, going as far as to crack the glass surface in annoyance.
"The Chipped Fang ain't no posers! Unlike you, we actively support our brothers and sisters fighting for our rights! We just know to ask for a little cash for protections is all." he grinned with a smug sneer.
Drake blinked at the sound of an unfamiliar voice. Spinning around, his eyes found a blond boy with blue eyes in a hoodie being watched over by two of his grunts. He titled his head, walking over the stranger as he looked him over. The grin on his face grew wider.
"Well, ain't you something that don't belong? Sorry, man, but I tend to get tunnel vision when on a job. Seems we got an extra body in the midst." he laughed before staring down Jaune with wide threatening eyes. "But I'm a little insulted that you've never heard of the Chipped Fang. We're the next front line for the White Fang, Remnant's most illustrious group of freedom fighters! Course a filthy human wouldn't know, you're too stupid to even know when to run!"
"But, you locked the doors."
Drake stroked his masked chin and nodded in understanding, "Hmm, seems like a personal issue though. And I don't deal with personal issues that aren't relevant to yours's truly. Not unless their concerning a target." he glowered as something from his back moved.
From the back of the man's waist, a moss dew green scaled tail whipped out like a spring. The slim lizard tail twitched, moving to hang by his face and point its metal pointed tip at the blond. The appendage reminded Jaune of a gecko's tail. Drake chuckled, seeing Jaune's eyes nervously stare at the deadly appendage.
"You like? It's a prosthetic, no thanks to your kind." he hissed as the metal point released sharp studded barbs over it, "A faunus got to protect itself. That's why the Chipped Fang is here. To show you humans we ain't something to pick at. We offer protection to our kind, at a price of course. And if they don't feel like working alongside us or accepting our help, then their no better than humans. And we don't really like humans." he hissed as his men laughed and jeered in agreement.
Tukson gritted his teeth at the situation. They just had to stop by now of all times. What rotten luck. He didn't want Jaune of all people getting caught up in a mess like this.
"Drake, leave the kid out of this! You're here for me, right?!" he shouted as he bared his sharp canines.
Drake glanced back lazily at the puma man, "Hmm? What, you wanna gossip now? Man, can't you read the room? I'll get to you in a bit. I got me a human to rough up." he chuckled darkly. Seeing the shopkeeper move to interfere, he gestured to his grunts to stop him. Several loaded gun barrels stared Tukson down in a blink of an eye, keeping him from moving any further as he scowled furiously.
"Good boy. Now, where were we?" Tapping his chin, he grinned widely as his tail aimed for the kid's face. He wouldn't kill him, but he would make sure that he would flinch every time a faunus passed him by. The grunts around stepped back, giving him plenty of room for him to beat the human around.
'Was I born with bad luck? Or is this somehow Qrow's fault?' Left sitting like duck, Jaune could only watch as the prosthetic metal tipped tail shot to stab him.
The lizard tail snapped, stabbing through the fabric of Jaune's waist as his body simply moved to the right. The action took Drake and the others by surprise as Jaune looked back at them flatly.
"I swear to god, I did not mean to do that." he said tiredly.
Drake's eye twitched.
"You little bitch!" Angered, he snapped tail his at Jaune again. But again, Jaune's body moved fluidly and continued to dodge the barrage of stabbing thrusts. The faunus was only further pissed off at the expression on the blond kid's face.
The kid didn't even look like he was doing it on purpose?! If anything, every missed stab made him sweat nervously! What kind of bull was that?
Jaune sighed as his body moved automatically from the deadly tail stabbing at his chest. What a situation he found himself in. Stop in for a comic, get caught up in some gang related activity. Who the hell did he piss off to deserve this curse of bad luck? Amidst the dodging, Jaune narrowed his eyes as he caught the thug's pattern. Well, might as well do something other than dodge. Timing the next stabbing tail snap, Jaune reared his fist back quickly, taking Drake by surprise before digging his fist into the lizard faunus' gut.
Drake flinched, ready to stumble back from the center blow. But instead of being thrown back, he found himself staring curiously at the arm connected to the blond connecting with his stomach.
"That… hurts?" he uttered slowly, his tail retreating to scratch his head as Jaune suddenly pulled his fist back and clutched it to his chest.
"FUCK!" Jaune cried, tearing up slightly as his wrist throbbed. Why did he think that was a good idea? He didn't know a damn thing about how to properly throw a punch. Times like this he wished he had taken Yang up on her offers to join her in her sparring.
Drake patted the area of the punch with a laugh. That was it? For a guy who could dodge well, he would have thought the kid had the muscle to fight back too. Sure, the punch to the gut had hurt, but he had been hit harder. Even one of his newly recruited grunts could stand back up from that. Patting his stomach, he grinned dangerously at the grimacing kid as he rose his fist up and cracked the digits. No need for his tail to get dirty, it would be a lot more fun to do this the old-fashioned way.
Throwing a fist for the blond's face, Drake smirked as he watched Jaune's feet move him to dodge as his tail snapped. His lizard tail coiled around Jaune's waist, stopping him from dodging the hard right. Jaune's vision spun for a moment, his head ringing as the knuckle snapped his head to the right. A nasty bruise began to form on his cheek as his head fell and his breath grew ragged. Weakly, he glared up at the smug leering eyes of the lizard faunus thug.
"Not so tough now, are ya? Ya had that coming for dodging the first blow. Now you've forced me to dirty up my fists. Guess it's better than washing out the blood of my prosthetic." he laughed as he pulled Jaune closer with his tail.
Jaune laughed nervously, throwing his arm up in a show of meaning no harm, "C-Can't we talk about this? I know a great diner that serves the best pancakes in town! I can even get us a discount! What do you say?" he said hopefully as the thug grinned behind his mask.
"I don't fuck with pancakes. I'm more into waffles."
"Oh… well then your kinds not welcomed." Jaune said flatly as his arms dropped uselessly. Nora did not take kindly to waffle lovers.
The comment wasn't exactly worded right as all the assembled thugs' eyes fell on him with sneers. Even Tukson shook his head at him, disappointed. To Jaune's credit, he immediately moved to apologize but found himself eating another knuckle sandwich.
Drake patted the blond kid's bruised cheek as his vision swam with a smirk, "Don't worry, I know what you meant." he said nicely before digging his fist into Jaune's stomach.
Jaune's breath was stolen, gasping as Drake drove his fist deeper. Pulling back, the thug began to smash his fist into the bruising area repeatedly, not giving Jaune a moment to catch his breath as he roughed him up.
Tukson openly snarled, his claws popping out as he could only watch Jaune's body beaten like a rag doll. Each echoing thud of fist meeting flesh made his temper rise. It was taking everything in his power not to lunge and tear the thug apart.
'God damn it! Where are they? Those doughnut lovers should have gotten here by now!'
Rocking Jaune's body with one more punch, Drake lifted his head up to look at him with his hands pulling at his blond locks. He clicked his tongue, finding a defiant glare staring him back. Usually the human's he beat up would start crying by now and he'd leave them to run away with their tails tucked in.
"Looks like someone's used to getting their ass kicked."
Jaune laughed hoarsely, his grin strained, "Buddy, you have no idea."
Drake's face twisted in annoyance as his fist twitched. So, he thought it was funny? Well then, he was just going to have to make sure he left a good impression on the idiot.
Readying his fist for another round of playing punching bag with the human, Drake was suddenly stopped by the sight of a few of his grunts turning their heads out towards the window in alert. He growled, faintly catching the annoying sound of sirens and skidding tires parking. He spun around for Tukson as his tail dropped Jaune to the floor.
"You bitch, ya called the pigs on us?" he spat as the puma man smirked.
"It's called paying extra for security. Now you know why I didn't take you up on your offer."
With the arrival of the police, Drake was left with only one option.
"Scatter! Don't let a single one of those coffee chuggers take ya's in! VIVA LA BEAST REVOLUTION!" he cried in panic before scrambling out the door faster than any of his men.
Drake's eye twitched, finding a gun barrel pressing against his temple the moment his feet stepped out the book store. A uniformed officer narrowed their eyes at him, the hammer of the gun clicking back as the officer dared the faunus to make a move.
"Just add some pressure to the bruised area with some ice and don't strain yourself, and you'll be fine."
Smiling in thanks to the paramedic handing him a pack of ice, Jaune turned his eyes to the sound of a commotion. The lizard faunus, Drake, was putting up a fight with a few of the officers taking him in as they tried to bring him in the back of one of their cars. The thug's red eyes glanced back at Jaune, narrowing in anger as one of the officers restrained his tail. Jaune gulped as he hurriedly turned away.
Did he just make an enemy?
"Don't worry, Jauney-boy. The little gecko or whatever he is won't be touching a hair on that little head of yours. So, stop squirming and man up." a familiar voice chuckled from behind. Moving around to face them, Jaune found a pair of blue eyes and short brown hair in a VPD uniform.
"Cardin?" Jaune said in surprise and Cardin grinned before helping him up on his feet. "What are you doing here?"
Cardin looked at him dryly before gesturing to his uniform, "Working, duh. You know I was planning on joining the force in the future." It was something they had talked about back in high school! Was the idiot not listening?
Jaune knew that, but this early? He just graduated not even half a year ago!
"But don't you have to go to an academy to join the police?"
"Course you do, but I'm part of a special program." Cardin smirked smugly as he pointed his thumb proudly to himself, "The boys and I are currently attending Vale Police Academy and were chosen along with a few others to live a day in a life with some guys on the force. We were riding on patrol, thinking we wouldn't see any action until we got a call about some disturbance. But I didn't think I'd be seeing you at the center of the mess." he whistled as he looked over Jaune's injuries, "Damn, haven't seen bruises like that since my old bully days. I used to rough you up just like this!" he snickered as he patted Jaune's arm.
Jaune winced, still sore from his beating.
"You don't have to remind me." he was one of Cardin's victims back then.
The good old days of high school. Funny how fond he thought of those days when they had only been months ago. How things had changed.
Gingerly pressing the icepack to his bruised stomach, Jaune moved to check on Tukson. It was nice to see Cardin again after they had parted ways at their graduation, but he still had work to do. And he wanted to at least make sure his new part time employer was okay.
"As much as I'd like to stick around and chat, I got to check up on my friend. The poor guy was nearly mugged after all. I'd be shaken up if that happened to me." he chuckled with a slight wince.
Cardin shrugged, "Yeah, sure. Go check up on flea breath, I got a job to do." he waved off carelessly.
Jaune smiled at his old friend before turning away. He did stop for a second to glare flatly at Cardin and punch his shoulder as he followed.
"And remember to keep an eye out for that racism. You're still a work in progress."
Ignoring his old bully's pouting glare as he rubbed his shoulder, Jaune looked out for Tukson amidst the small crowd of cops. He quickly found the store owner standing in front of his store, scratching the back of his as he talked with two officers. It looked like he was being interrogated.
"I keep telling you, I have nothing to do with those punks! Why would I signal the alarm if I did?" Tukson bit off as he began to lose his patience.
"To confuse us!"
Tukson fought the urge to smack someone.
"If you want proof, I got video evidence of my innocence."
"You can edit anything with computers these days."
Cardin rolled his eyes before intervening.
"Knock it off, you two. I'm sure the captain wouldn't be pleased to hear you guy's harassing another victim again." he said as he laid his hands on the two officer's shoulders. The two officers grumbled under breath before jotting down the last of their report and walking away.
The headache growing eased as Tukson breathed deeply as he cracked his neck. He couldn't tell if the two were stupid or racist. Now that the annoying officers were gone, he smiled as he finally noticed Jaune.
"Good to see you're alright, Jaune. I was worried that the punk had done a number on ya to send you crying to the hospital. But it looks like there's nothing to worry about." Tukson chuckled as he playfully punched the blond's shoulder. Jaune winced, cursing both for not understanding what sore meant.
"I've been better." Jaune grumbled as he rubbed his shoulder.
Tukson shook his head amusingly before frowning at the bruises over the kid's face. He really did take a beating. Poor kid. And all he had wanted when he stopped in was a copy of his favorite comic, not an ass whooping. The thought didn't sit right with him. Nodding to himself as he snapped his fingers, he spoke to the officer by them.
"Think you can wait a second? I just want to grab something from the back of my store really quick."
Cardin shrugged, "Sure. But I ain't in no position to let you do that. I'm just observing for the day. But I'm sure there's no harm in you stepping back in for a bit."
Tukson didn't care as he ran back to his store and disappeared for a few moments. Finding what he was after, he walked out with a suitcase in hand as he made his way over to the two.
"I know it's probably not much for all the trouble you were dragged into, but maybe this ought to make you feel better." he said apologetically with a grin as he clicked the locks of the case off and displayed its contents for Jaune to take. Jaune was confused until his eyes went wide in surprise.
Sitting inside the case was the copy of X-ray and Vav he had been wanting. Zip locked in a protective plastic cover, it radiated like the finest of jewels in his eyes. He had to stop himself from openly drooling as his shaky fingers reached for the rare item.
"But I thought you sold the last copy." he said in confusion.
"I did, but every book shop owner knows to save one copy for themselves for value purposes. But after everything you've been through, I thought it would be better for you to have, free of charge." he smiled as he handed the briefcase to the awed blond freelancer, "A book, even one full of pictures, is meant to be read, not stowed away somewhere to be sold off for a quick check. It's better in your collection than mine."
Cardin quirked his brow mirthfully as Jaune hugged the briefcase tightly against his chest, "You still reading those books? You really haven't changed, have you?" he laughed.
Jaune didn't dignify Cardin with an answer, choosing instead to marvel at the gift in hand. His blue eyes sparkled as he opened the case to peek at the comic again, awing at its beauty. All that pain had been worth it in a way.
"Ah, shit! He's getting away!"
"Don't just stare, pick up your jaw and apprehend the bastard!"
The sound of a familiar laugh sent shivers down Jaune's back. Turning his head around, his heart stopped as he watched the spiky green haired lizard thug run past the officers around them. The cuffs on his wrists cracked, shattering under his strength as he grinned, his bandanna lost and revealing his sharp teeth and scarred lip.
"Suck a dick, pigs! Ain't no one ever gonna take Drake in alive!" he laughed with his new-found freedom. His eyes suddenly zoned in on Jaune, narrowing as he smirked. "Watch your back, brat! I ain't done with you yet! Best believe that you're on the Chipped Fang's list!" he cackled maniacally before running off with several officers chasing him on foot.
Well that was unsettling. But that still wouldn't take away from the joy Jaune was feeling! He was just going to have to watch his back if he ever crossed any dark alleys. Tucking the briefcase under his armpits, he was ready to say good-bye to his friends and move onto his paying job.
The sound of static caught Cardin's attention before reaching for his walkie-talkie. He frowned as he listened in before releasing a frustrated breath.
"I'd love to stay and chat, Jaune, but I got to move on with the rest of the boys. It looks like some old lady down the street kicked the bucket. So, we got to head over and investigate."
Old lady? Down the street? Jaune's face paled as he slowly turned his eyes to the clock of his scroll.
There's was no way, right? He was just going to be an hour late and when he got to the address, the old woman he was supposed to deliver flowers to would be alive and kicking! Because there was no way she would just die like that. She had surgery planned, there was no way she would ignore heading out to the hospital just to wait for some lousy flowers. Right?
The scroll in hand buzzed violently, displaying the caller ID of his employer. And in the background, he could make out the officers cursing as they lost sight of the thug planning revenge on him. Suddenly the rare comic book didn't seem so glamorous.
'I hate my life.'
'Well, I don't think Mr. Bradie will be hiring me again, or recommending me to his friends.'
With Jaune's little eventful morning past him, he had gone straight to his next job. After the little detour had cost him a client, he had pedaled furiously to his next job for an early start. He had just lost 60Lien, he couldn't afford to lose another penny!
Turns out, Mrs. Bradie, god bless her soul, had been waiting for her son's flowers to arrive before the paramedics would take her in for surgery. Apparently the two had been at odds with another for a long while and he had decided to bury the hatchet with a show of flowers, to prove his love to his mother before meeting once she woke up. He had promised her that she would receive them before she left. So, she had waited, patiently for her son's sign of love, refusing to budge even as the nurses arrived to help her to the hospital. But with the minutes ticking by, she had grown sad and heartbroken that her son had apparently lied to her. Literally, she was heartbroken. She had a heart attack and died with a broken heart.
'I killed an old lady! Inadvertently! What the hell's mom going to say!?' What kind of fucked up bullshit was that!? Just because her flowers were a little late, she had a heart attack? How old was she!? Couldn't she have waited another ten minutes?
Guilt aside, this meant that his hopes for a contract with his client had been killed off as well. Mr. Bradie was pissed. Livid. Said some hurtful things in the moment. And wished that Jaune would die under several explicit and descriptive ways, by his own hand. So that obviously meant Jaune wouldn't be paid. The flowers safely secured in the iron basket at the front of his bike would go undelivered and without a home.
Passing another honking truck nearly running him over, he looked at the beautiful arrangement of flowers solemnly, "Guess I could give you guys a home. But I'm warning you, I may not able to feed you something as simple as water sometimes." he chuckled weakly.
With how short he was going to be with today's rent, it looked like he would have to resort to drastic measures. He owned some rather rare collectables back home. It wouldn't kill him to sell one to make rent. It would hurt, and he was sure he would be sobbing while watching the highest bid on Ruby's laptop, but he would still live. Making a mental note to stop by the Branwen/Xiao Long home, Jaune came to a stop as he waited for the light overhead to turn green. Heavy traffic glared back at him, making him grow anxious. He did not want to be late again.
'Hopefully Raven's still working by the time I stop by. After the morning I've had, I'm not sure I could endure her temptations.'
A small shy voice startled Jaune, nearly knocking him off his seat as he spun his head around for the source. Suddenly his eyes fell to the bench by the sidewalk next to him and the girl sitting with her backpack gripped tightly to her chest. The girl didn't look any older than 14, with rusty red short hair, slightly tanned skin, and a single blue eye, her left eye covered up by a black beanie. The girl wore a simple school uniform and checkered skirt, an odd little silver bull's eye token hung by a chain around her neck.
Chuckling in embarrassment for nearly falling, Jaune smiled at the girl.
"Yes, how can I help you?" he asked kindly. The girl gave the blond boy a tiny smile before nervously looking down at her feet. She gulped, her trembling lips opening but lacking words as she fought with her shyness.
"I… I was wondering if you could… maybe, give me a ride to this address?" she said slowly with a trembling voice. She reached into her backpack and nervously showed him the address she was referring to.
Carefully, Jaune leaned in and read the directions, frowning as he recognized where the little girl wanted to go. That was Funhaus Rd, almost five miles from here. Even on bike it would take him an hour to get there at his fastest. The ride back would take as long as well. It was 9:37, he really didn't have time for this. With a guilty sigh, he shook his head.
"S-Sorry, kid. But I don't have the time to help you out." he apologized with a slight stutter. It didn't feel right to ignore her, but he had rent to make! Right now, he had to focus on what was important, and right now that was making sure he had enough money to keep the roof over his head. Or owe another debt to a sadistic woman.
At his refusal, the rust haired girl's head dipped as she clutched her backpack tighter. She nodded in understanding and looked down at the pavement.
"O-oh, okay then. Sorry for taking up your time, mister." she said with a tremble in her voice.
An arrow of guilt and self-disgust stabbed through Jaune's heart, nearly sending him falling back at the sight. His heart was weak to such things!
"Don't you have someone to take you there? Parents, friends, uncles, aunts, a friendly neighbor that nicely complains about your dog leaving presents on his lawn when actually he's silently planning on killing you in your sleep?"
The girl sadly shook her head, lacking the voice to speak. The scene was only made worse as a drop of water hit her head. Jaune looked up, his eye twitching as he watched dark clouds gather overhead.
'…Does this please you? Or do you want me to suffer more?' Why was the world against him?
Well, it was about to rain. Surely his client would dismiss him today. Who cut grass in the rain anyway? It made no sense to do such a thing if it was pouring. And as much as he didn't want to lose the money from the job, Jaune couldn't find it in himself to turn away from the little girl. It was killing him just thinking about leaving her like this. He was just going to have to bite the bullet this time.
Fighting the urge to sigh in frustration, Jaune inclined his head to the girl with a grin as he rang the bell on the handle of his bike. The red rust haired girl's head snapped up in surprise.
"Well, I can't just leave you here. I wouldn't be able to look myself in the eye and call myself a big brother if I just left you out in the rain by yourself." he said mirthfully before moving over a bit on his seat. It wasn't meant for two people, but Ruby fit just fine if she held onto his waist. "Hop on and I'll take you where you need to go!" he said brightly.
The girl smiled happily as she quickly hopped off her seat and sat behind the kind blond. Nervously, she latched her arms around his waist. He chuckled at her timid behavior. Reminded him of one of his younger sisters.
The rush of traffic came to an end, signaling the patient and impatient drivers to go on ahead with the change of light. Instead of taking a straight as he would have, Jaune turned to the left and the clouds overhead began to let loose a curtain of light rain. From the looks of it, it was only going to get worse. He felt sorry for the girl holding onto him as the rain fell over them. She wasn't exactly dressed for today's weather.
"We'll get to your destination in a jiffy. I don't want you getting a cold out in this rain." Jaune said kindly as he sped past the traffic in their way. Ah, the perks of a bike. The bastards in his way could kiss his ass. There was a lot of traffic for a Monday morning. Busier than normal when he thought about it. Reaching another red light, his unasked question was answered by the loud radio of a car stopping beside him.
"-the visit marks a small milestone between the continent of Vacuo and Sanus today as one of Vacuo's top diplomats stops by Vale to visit the governing council about peace talks. The people of the continents are hopeful that such visits will be the beginning of putting an end to the fighting for lands bordering the brother landmasses and cease the countless bloodshed from nearly a century ago. Mayor Port expressed enormous joy at the visita-"
The light turned green, cutting off the radio message as the car drove on. Following in suit, Jaune bicycled his way through the puddling waters of the street.
'Well that explains the traffic.' Jaune thought to himself. People were hoping to see the visiting diplomat. It was a first that all the fighting for land would finally be put to an end. A certain green haired, coffee obsessed teacher of his was most likely going to be there too, no doubt dragging along his class to witness the momentous occasion. Remembering the address he was taking the girl to, it all suddenly made sense.
"So, I'm guessing you're off to see the peace talks?"
The rust haired girl's eyes went wide in alarm for a split second before she shifted nervously against his back. She nodded slowly.
"Something like that." she said softly, her voice mumbling against the damp blue of his hoodie.
Jaune smiled brightly at the girl. It was nice to see kids at her age taking an interest in such matters. The little girl probably had a thing for politics and wanted to be a part of them. Who knows? He just might be taking a future Sanus council woman to a historic event.
"Then I better hurry up! I can't have you missing something important like this!" he said brightly as he picked up the speed.
The small girl nodded wordlessly, her gray blue eye dropping their nervous act as Jaune focused on the road, unaware of the emotionless gaze behind him. The glinting blade in her hand slipped back into her sleeve with a soft click as her hands hugged him tighter.
After dropping off the nice girl near city hall, Jaune decided to look at his messages from his client letting him know not to show up. It was pouring by then, raining cats and dogs to the annoyance of the faunus hearing the old saying. Jaune had even gotten a flash alert of flood warnings in the lower section of the city. So, it was surprising to find out that his client had been messaging nonstop on his whereabouts. Apparently, the old man who had hired him didn't care for the pouring rain or the small flooding of his lawn, all he cared about was his grass and hedges being cut.
Answering the call from his client, Jaune had to suffer through the old man's tirade of complaints with his service. Being wet, a little hungry, sore, and still upset with losing his first job of the day when he was caught up in some gang related trouble, Jaune had lost his temper and argued back. In the end, he had lost another day's worth of money, and even worse, a contract.
"Pretty sure the guy was a racist anyways." Soaking wet and sore, Jaune grumbled to himself as he slowly came to a stop in front of an old shop. Tiredly, he looked up at the fading, broken sign and the skew C of the letters.
Crow's Nest: Freelance Services.
The sight of his shop always made Jaune feel a strange mix of joy and frustration. But he liked to believe that every business owner felt the same way when stepping into their shop. The run down three-story shop was now in Jaune's name, leaving all the responsibilities that came with it to him. From the rent, electricity, heat, and repairs, it was his job to make sure that they were all paid for. As the new owner of the freelance shop, he was responsible for keeping the place running now that the old owner had left to god knows where.
Three months ago, on a rainy mid-morning like today, Jaune had fallen down on his luck in front of said shop before being found by its drunken owner, a man simply known as Qrow. Of course he later found out during his interactions with the drunk that he was a Branwen, and even more shocking, twin brother of Raven Branwen, Yang' mother. Things… happened that day. Things that made his shoulders sag tiredly as the rickety wooden door struggled to open all the way as he stepped into his dark little shop.
A proposition had been made that gloomy rainy day. And desperation had answered back.
Crow's Nest: Freelance Service's now belonged to Jaune Arc. It was an odd little shop, offering services of all kinds. If a house needed cleaning, then look no further. Needed help mowing the lawn? They had them covered. Needed a ride to a special event? Crow Nest's offered cheap ride fare. Needed your browser history wiped once you kicked the bucket? They didn't judge and would happily delete every bookmark of dirty, dirty, dirty filth from the drive before smashing it to pieces and burying it in the deep sea. Whatever the task, Crow's Nest would deliver!
But Jaune was only one man and his skills were pretty much average. A jack of all trades in a way. Master of little, but adept in a lot of things. The only jobs he could offer were manual labor work right now. He made most of his money selling the random nick nacks and snacks he offered inside, and even than he only ever made enough just to get by on rent. By now he was used to being strapped for cash.
Shutting the door behind him while locking it up, Jaune dropped his soaking wet sneakers to the side as he flipped the switch for the lights. The lights were dim, flickering weakly as they fought to do their job. He would have bought new bulbs, but that meant spending money.
The inside of the shop was pretty much all wood, some kind of exotic burgundy lumber if Qrow's mumbling could be taken for fact. From the counter top that was shaped like a U, to the chairs by the corner of the small table, to the shelves and racks filled to the brim with sweets and snacks. It was pretty big in his opinion, showing off a lot of useless space he had no need of. How Qrow worked like this, he would never know. What he would like to know was how the man turned a damn profit.
At least there was one good thing to take from owning his own little shop. He didn't have to pay when he needed to satisfy his sweet tooth. Snatching a rope of liquorish from one of the shelves, Jaune walked over to the front counter top before moving a section of it to the side like a door. Ripping off a nice length of the strawberry treat, he decided to check the register for Lien. It was Monday and he had forgotten to count the weekend's profit last night. Praying for a small cash mine to save him for the month, he popped open the register with a ding before clicking his tongue.
78Lien. It wasn't too bad. It would make up for his first job's net loss, but he was still short at least a hundred Lien. It was times like this he wished he could hire someone else to stick around the shop to work the register and sell goods. He couldn't do both while on a job, or searching for more work. Again, he wondered how exactly Qrow made this place work. The single week of training hadn't revealed all that drunkard's tricks.
'Looks like I got no choice then. I'm going to have to make the ultimate sacrifice and sell one of my collectables.' Jaune fought with his tears as he sniffed. Oh, the things he had to do to keep an old roof over his head. Not even the sweet in hand could make the situation taste less bitter. Whenever he was in a financial bind, he was left with no choice but to sell of his his valued treasures to fans alike.
Grabbing the colorful cards to move over to his safe below the counter, the ding of the bell over the front door turned his hopes up for the first time today. He shut the register quickly and tossed his soaking wet hoodie to the side, leaving him in a simple black shirt as he smiled at his guest.
The smile on his face fell like a slab of iron to the bottom of a lake as sharp yellow eyes met his gaze with a seductive smirk. He gulped audibly as four muscle headed men followed the silverish white-haired woman inside. The woman was dressed professionally, wearing a black pair of pants that fit her legs and waist snugly, a black buttoned long-sleeved jacket with odd fang like cufflinks over a silk white top, and black high heels that boosted her height to Jaune's height. Her face was sharp, free of blemishes except for the small patches of scales around the edges of her sunflower yellow eyes and cheeks. Her skin was pale white, her exotic look putting even woman from Mistral to shame. And her silver white hair flowed behind her to her waist, the tip of her mane tied by a single large red bead and a single lock of hair braided like twin snakes crossing over one another by the left side of her face.
Stopping in front of the visibly cowering blond boy, the woman raised her hand, halting the rather large and bulky men behind her. She then leaned over the wooden counter, giving Jaune a small view of the visible pale flesh of her modest chest as she grinned.
"Mr. Arc! So good to see you this morning! You know, I thought I would miss you around this hour, you're usually busy working your little odd jobs at this time. But it seems you don't have work this morning." the woman's words stressed the S's, her slightly forked tongue peeking out as she twirled a lock of her hair playfully. The grin on her face quickly fell, replaced with a stern scowl as she leaned closer to Jaune's face.
Normally, a beauty being so close to him would have him blushing beet red, especially when he could feel their hot breath tickling his lips. But after three months of dealing with the woman, arousal had been shot and buried as it was replaced with fear for a tombstone.
"Now, I don't mind if you don't have any work and sit around playing clerk with your thumb up your ass, but I do mind if said slacking off doesn't yield any Lien. Lien that I'm here to collect for rent."
Jaune began to sweat under the glowering stare the woman was giving him as he nervously chuckled.
"I had work, Silvia! It's just that… some things had happened and I may have, sorta, possibly, lost my clients for the morning." he said dejectedly as he hung his head in shame.
Silvia Constrict, a woman whose very name made Jaune want to run for his room, hide under his bed, cradle his stuffed bear, Knighty, close to his chest, and suck on his thumb as he rocked back forth in terror. She was a woman that every tenant should fear. He didn't know much of what she did for living, only that her work had her managing several rental properties among other things. There was something about her that put Jaune on edge, even when he had first met her when she had stopped by during his training under Qrow. When he looked at her eyes, he could only describe them as a predator staring down its next prey.
She was intimidating was what she was. And evil. And probably a secret crime boss with all the lackeys she had around her constantly. Plus, he was sure she was a man eater. But despite all that, she wasn't what you would call a horrible landlord. Not as long as you paid your rent of course. If you paid your rent, you would hardly ever see the snake faunus and would only have to deal with one of her lackeys instead. Sadly, for Jaune, he wasn't exactly the most on time tenant with rent.
Rolling her eyes at Jaune's excuse, Silvia gestured her open hand for the Lien he had. She didn't need to hear about his failures, only his earnings. Stiffly, Jaune nodded and reached back down for the safe before handing the snake woman what Lien he had. Her eyes flitted across the colorful cards before scowling.
"This is 1,732Lien. You're short about four hundred. Now, first time you didn't fully pay rent, I was merciful. I even had you pay back the debt with a small favor. But I can't keep doing such a thing. Others might think I'm going soft and begin to follow your bad example. So now, I must make an example of you. You do know what that means?" she smiled dangerously as her yellow eyes leered at the nervously smiling boy. She snapped her fingers, signaling for one of her buff escorts to walk over to her. He didn't need to say another word as he reached into his suit's pocket before handing the woman what she wanted.
Jaune's heart went wild, beating like a crazed drummer as his shaking blue eyes fearfully stared at the silver spoon in the woman's hand. An odd little white ceramic cup was placed in front of her along with a fancy salt shaker as her forked tongue licked her glossy lips.
"I'm going to have to rip off one of your precious eggs and swallow it whole."
'Despite the situation, and the threat of losing my nut, I am still strangely aroused.' There was seriously something wrong with him if he had to fight a rager right now. If only his dick understood the threatening situation.
"There's no need for that!" Jaune shouted frantically as one of the escorts handed Silvia surgical white gloves. The silver haired woman paused as she stretched out the gloves, quirking her brow in show of listening, "I promise you, I'll have the money tomorrow! I swear on my name as an Arc, that I'll have the rent in the morning! So, please don't rip off one my family jewels!" he cried, practically begging the snake faunus with tears running down his face.
Silvia narrowed her eyes dangerously, snapping the last glove on before lazily resting her head on her hand, "Swearing on a name I've never heard of means little to me. For all I know, you're just making up an excuse to later escape your punishment by leaving at the dead of night, never to return. Which would be of little use, I always find my man." she coed with a sinister smile.
As if Jaune would dare run. Call him a goof, but even he wasn't brain dead. The woman was a predator and would hunt him down for sport.
But Jaune was an honest man! Sorta. When he made a promise, he did everything in his power to keep it at least.
Gulping, Jaune steeled his resolve and met Silvia's stare with his own, "Just give me until tomorrow and you'll have the rent, plus extra. I won't run, you got to give me some trust on this. I'll show you that an Arc's word is worth its weight in gold." he said strongly, refusing to back down before the scary woman. His heart was still beating like a drum as he stared the woman down, doing his best not to show another sign of fear.
For a good minute, Silvia leered at the blond boy, watching for any signs of weakness in his blue eyes. But she found none, no signs of deceit or plotting. Only honesty, if you could call it that.
Narrowing her eyes, she carefully removed her surgical gloves and snapped her finger. The escort beside her set all the items on the counter away carefully before bowing and leaving out the door with the rest of the men at her command. Left alone, Silvia opened the small door and stood right in front of Jaune with a disgruntled scowl on her beautiful face.
"Tomorrow, 8 a.m. And not a second later. I'll have men staked outside, watching your every move for signs of you running away from your debt. And if you're short one penny, I swear on my name," Silvia's hands pressed themselves against Jaune's chest, digging her sharp nails into the fabric of his shirt and into his skin as she nuzzled his neck, her sharp fangs hovering over the veins threateningly as she felt him squirm at her touch, "I'll swallow more than just one egg. I'll swallow you whole." she said softly as her hot breath washed over his neck like a gentle flame.
Giving Jaune a pat on the cheek of his frozen face, Silvia spun around and left the quaint shop with the sound of her clicking heels behind her as her hips sashayed.
For who knows how long, Jaune stood there, motionless as his beating heart slowly calmed itself down. Breathing in slowly, he idly noticed the rain water stuck to his clothing had grown cold as he shivered. Though he couldn't tell if his face was cold with rain water or sweat after dealing with Silvia. But he did know one thing.
His collector's figure of Mogar was going to make one nerd happy from their mother's basement.
Seven o'clock, a time of the day Jaune normally found himself stuck up in his room located at the third floor of his shop, playing video games to pass the time in hopes of staving off the depression of his daily life of being short of cash. But today was different. Today was Monday, the one time of the week he left his shop and went out to pick up supplies to prepare dinner at his favorite family's home.
Despite everything, the bruises he suffered at the hands of a thug, the loss of two clients, and nearly losing his left nut to a woman whose sex appeal reminded him of a spy villain, Jaune found himself smiling brightly as he stood in front of a familiar door. He knocked three times, his smile growing wider as he made out hurried footsteps heading for the door. Dark red hair, big silver eyes, pale skin, and an adorable smile answered immediately as the door swung open.
"Jaune! Oh, I was almost worried that you wouldn't make it today! Last week you missed our weekly dinner because of some job taking you away." the red-haired girl pouted with crossed arms. Jaune gave a small chuckled as he ruffled the short girl's hair with his free hand.
"Sorry about that, Ruby. It was a last-minute job I couldn't refuse. You don't want me living on the streets because I missed my rent, do you?" Jaune said fondly.
Ruby Rose, the short Highschool girl known mostly for her speed and always wearing a red cape everywhere she went, shyly looked away from Jaune in guilt.
"You wouldn't be homeless. You can always come back home." she mumbled to herself as she looked at her feet.
Jaune ruffled Ruby's hair one more time before stepping in and taking off his shoes, "So you've told me countless times. I'm guessing your hoping my business bombs so you can have your favorite blond back home, right?" he said amusingly as she frantically shook her head.
"No! I don't want your business to fail! I'm just saying, in the highly likely event that your landlord kicks you out of your failing business, you don't have to worry about sleeping in the gutters! The Xiao Long/Branwen/Rose household will always have a place for you!" she grinned confidently as Jaune gave her a flat look.
"Thanks for the vote of confidence, Rubes. Really, you just brighten up my day."
The Xiao Long/Branwen/Rose home was a mouthful to say to this day. He chuckled, remembering it had at one time had another name to it months ago. The small three roomed home had once been his home. Under this roof, he had lived his high school days along with Yang Xiao Long, an old gaming buddy he had gamed with over the net from back before he was accepted into Beacon. It was because of her that he even had a place to stay after he had forgotten about the Lien his parents gave him on the bullhead to Vale. From the goodness of her fiery, punny heart, she had taken in a stranger who's voice she was only familiar with into her home with a grin. And from that day forward, he had never been more thankful to a person than Yang.
Of course, his time living under their roof, rent free, had to come to end. He had always felt like he was mooching off the odd, quirky family, just useless space with nowhere to go. So, once he graduated and saved enough money for his own apartment along with two month's rent, he had said good-bye to the kind family with promises to visit every so often.
One mugging later, loss of a job, and a breaking down in front of a drunk man's odd jobs shop, and this was where he found himself. Stubborn pride refused to allow him to crawl back to his friends' home, choosing instead to endure it all as a man.
Now that Jaune had stepped into the home and she got a better look at him, Ruby gasped into her small hands at the bruises over his face. Her fingers flew for the neck of his shirt and roughly pulled him down to her level with a wince and her silver eyes looked him over.
"Jaune! What happened to you? You look like you were jumped in some alley!" she said in alarm, her fingers grazing the one cut on his lip gingerly.
She wasn't completely wrong there, 'More like jumped in a book store. But what's the difference these days?'
Moving the prodding fingers away, Jaune reassured Ruby with a smile, "Don't worry about it. I just made a wrong turn in the rain and crashed my bike is all!" he said brightly, missing the small girl drop out of his sight, "It's just a few scrapes and bruises. I just need a good night's sleep, and I'll be fine!"
Ruby didn't believe the lie as she stealthily pulled up his shirt and eyed the large mass of blue, yellow, and green skin on his abs, "I'm pretty sure the road is incapable of punching you in the gut repeatedly." she glared.
The feeling of air tickling his bruises brought Jaune's attention to find Ruby, kneeling in front of him with her face dangerously close to his open stomach. How she had learned to be so sneaky, he wished he didn't know. But it seemed Blake was rubbing off on her. He blushed as her glare came off more as a huffy pout, the angle and posture she was currently in not helping in the slightest. It was made even worse with her free hand gripping the belt of his jeans and her hot breath washing over the skin of his lower waist. Why was she even in her bed wear! Did she not understand that her simple black top no longer fit on her seventeen-year-old body!
'Stay down, my holy saber! She's fifteen! . . .No, wait that was two years ago… Fuck.'
Fighting the blush on his face, Jaune pulled down his shirt and moved Ruby's hands away, "I'm telling you I'm fine. Today was just more eventful that I had originally planned." he said stiffly.
Knowing how Jaune could be, Ruby dropped the matter for now with a huff. Prodding him would only make things worse and sadly her cute tactics didn't work as well as they used to as she got older. Instead, she grabbed him by his wrist and dragged him into the house. She did know one way to get him to open up though.
"Fine, don't tell me. Because I'm sure Auntie Raven would want to know about it first." she said with a devious smile. Jaune's heart stopped, his face frozen in horror before he began trying to pry his wrist from the smaller girl's hands.
"How are you this strong!?"
"I drink milk."
All his fighting proved futile as Ruby brought him to the kitchen doorway. It was only then that Jaune's nose finally picked up on the smell of something delicious in the air. His mouth began to water, recognizing the aroma instantly. But his hunger was set aside as his brow twitched in annoyance at the person bending over the oven, their raven haired tied back in a ponytail as they hummed and shook their rear with the beat.
"Auntie Raven, guess who's here~?"
The woman paused her humming, making a noise of surprise before leaving the seasoned dumplings alone and shutting the oven. The woman turned around, her red eyes confused before lighting up in amusement at the sight of the sweating blond boy beside her niece. She smiled kindly as she removed her oven mitts.
"Good evening, Jaune!"
Raven Branwen, mother of Yang Xiao Long, Ruby Rose's aunt, and twin sister of the very man who left him his job, Qrow Branwen. Single and only 34 years old with raven hair and stunning red eyes. She was a business woman who worked in her own office. She was a few inches shorter than Jaune, wearing a simple dark red blouse underneath her eye stabbing pink apron and a short black skirt. Her eyes were gentle, showing a fondness you would normally find in a mother's eyes. And had a body that would put a teen model to shame. Wide hips, slender waist, and a bust only her daughter could match.
She was the bane of Jaune's existence.
The moment Raven's sight fell on Jaune, she found herself frowning in worry before hastily walking over to the blond teen. Her hands flew for his face, caressing the tinges of trauma skin as she sighed.
"What happened to you, mister? You look like you were jumped in an alleyway." she chided softly as she carefully examined him.
Ruby nodded, her eyes shut as she smiled smugly, "See, that's what I said. He said that he had fallen from his bike in the rain."
Raven's eyes shut halfway in suspicion, the blood red staring deeply into his nervous blue.
"Did he now?" she drawled, clearly not believing the lie.
Jaune gulped as the raven-haired mother began to feel around his body, her frown only growing deeper as her fingers felt the bruises from Drake's slugging. How could you even feel a bruise? Surprisingly, the area she was touching began to lose its soreness, almost as if it was healing under her touch.
How did she do that?
But again, he found his eye twitching as Raven smiled innocently and turned her head to Ruby.
"Ruby, would you mind calling Yang and telling her that dinner will be ready in an hour. Now that Jaune is here, we can get the curry started." she said kindly as Ruby frowned.
"But what about Jaune! He still hasn't told us how he got those bruises! I have questions!"
"Don't worry, Ruby. Jaune just had a rough fall is all. Sometimes you got to have some faith and believe in his word." Raven said softly, "I'll be sure to scold him for his recklessness though. But we have to get dinner going. I'm sure you're dying to have some of Jaune's Special Monday Night Curry."
A rumble from Ruby's stomach agreed. She pouted, still not believing Jaune's poor lie but sighed in defeat. If he didn't want to say anything, then there was nothing she could do. Jaune was too stubborn and prideful to let them in on his problems.
'I just had to fall for a stubborn blond. I should have listened to Yang's warning long ago.' she pouted and nodded. She narrowed her eyes at Jaune, pointing her finger back between the two in a show of their conversation not being over. With a huff, she spun around and ran back to her room for her scroll. Leaving only Jaune and Raven, alone, in the kitchen.
With Ruby gone, Jaune's face grew a flat stare as he addressed the single mother dryly, "…You can move your hand off my ass now." he said stiffly.
Like a switch, the gentleness and fondness in Raven's soft red eyes faded away, leaving behind sharp, narrowed blood red, smoldering and lustful. The sly hand on his rear gave a guilty squeeze, only further annoying Jaune as the dark-haired temptress grinned widely. Her face grew closer to his own, her lips looking full and glossy as her tongue licked over them sensually.
"Aww, but I'm trying to make you feel better. A 'fall' like that must have hurt you all over. And I just want to make you feel better." she said hotly and she stared intimately into the annoyed blue orbs resisting her flirtations. Honestly, his fighting only made it more fun. She always did love a challenge.
Raven Branwen, single mother, sister to the very man who had gifted him a store, and MILF. Jaune sighed deeply as he pinched the bridge of his brows.
Thing was, Raven had never been like this. At least not to Jaune's knowledge. Long ago, well, four years really, Jaune had moved into the Branwen/Xiao Long household by Yang's kindness, when he had met the raven-haired woman. His first impression of her had been cold, stern, and uncaring to his presence. The only reason she put up with him was because of Yang, her estranged daughter who she wanted to connect with after the death of her first love and father of said blonde girl. It had been an awkward situation, watching the two interact with Raven trying her best to get her daughter to open up to her, and Yang doing her damnedest to shove the woman's, who left her and her father behind, attempts away. Rough was what it had been. Add in Ruby a year later and things had only become more awkward and tense.
Until Jaune finally had enough. He wasn't a therapist or really knew what the hell he was doing at the time, but he had enough with the two's behavior. After two years of having to watch the mess that was their relationship, he had decided to work on fixing things between the two however he could. So, he had done what he could to help remedy their situation.
He had been an idiot, and it wasn't surprising to have walked out of that mess with a busted lip and a black eye. But by some miracle, he had done it. It wasn't much at the time, but he had made the first steps of healing their troubled relationship as mother and daughter.
And Raven had noticed. She had seen what the odd blond boy had done to fix her bond with her daughter. It was rare to find someone who could put up with such a dysfunctional family, let alone a stranger she had only known for two years. Jaune's kindness had helped her to slowly earn the honor of her stubborn daughter and got her to finally start calling her Mom. She could never repay him for what he had done.
But, she supposed that there was one thing she could do to show her appreciation. And it wasn't like she wouldn't mind either. She was a grown woman, she had certain needs that only a man could take care of. And boy's his age always dreamed of such a thing happening to them, fantasizing of a woman like herself in their company and looking up at them on their knees with sultry eyes.
A week later after Jaune had helped Raven and Yang begin mending their relationship, he found himself walking back to the small home alone as Yang and Ruby went out for ice cream after Raven had messaged him to talk to him privately. He had shrugged, not seeing anything wrong with that other than it being a little odd. When he had opened the door and walked in, his senses screamed at him to turn back and run for the hills as the door was locked tightly. Slender arms had snaked around his neck from behind and an amused, sultry chuckle had tickled the lobes of his ear as a curvy body pressed itself against his locked up back.
On that day, Jaune's life had only gotten more difficult as he found himself in the eyes of a horny, lonely, single mother. And it had taken every ounce of strength and virtue to escape Raven's advances for the remaining days in the Branwen/Xiao Long/Rose household.
"I feel fine, Raven. If anything, you're just aggravating my injuries." he sucked in a breath as the raven-haired temptress pressed herself closer to his body. Her left hand moved slowly from his healing abdomen, raking his skin through the fabric of his soaked hoodie until they fell teasingly to his belt buckle. Her finger gave the buckle a tug as her free hand flew to the ribbon of her ponytail and let loose her wild, raven locks. Her sultry red eyes wouldn't leave his own as Jaune gulped stiffly.
"You know, I don't like to be lied to. Especially by you of all people. But even more so, I don't like it when someone has the gall to harm someone I care deeply about." her sharp eyes narrowed dangerously as the fingers gripping his belt buckle scratched his lower waist. Jaune licked his lips nervously as Raven's thumb stroked his cheek affectionately, her eyes going soft as her lips drew dangerously close to his own as she whispered.
"Just tell me their name, and I swear, they'll never dare harm you ever again."
Jaune nervously scratched the back of his head as he tried to laugh the matter off, "I keep telling you Raven, I had a bad fall while riding my bike! If someone did beat me up, I would have called the police. Seriously, you worry too much." he smiled, still sweating with the position he found himself in.
Raven frowned at the poor excuse. Jaune was not known as a good liar. But he was stubborn. She sighed begrudgingly as she dropped the matter for now. Eventually, she'd break him down. In more ways than one. In the end, he was fine and that was all that mattered. Well, fine physically. She couldn't exactly call his financial situation well or his unsure future.
The next time her idiot brother stopped by, he was going to be answering a lot of questions.
"Fine, if that's what you want to keep telling yourself."
Jaune breathed a sigh of relief as Raven pouted and dropped the matter. He had a lot of unpleasant things to say about Drake, but he wasn't going to send a single mother knocking down his doorstep. And for some reason, he had a scary feeling that Raven was not joking.
With that done with, Jaune was hoping that they could finally move and get to cooking. It was Monday night, the one time of the week he had promised to visit the little family and spend dinner with them. And after he had missed out on last week's plans, he was aiming to make up for it with his big sister's special curry. But said plans would be delayed as his belt was loosened and a certain someone's frisky hands tickled the fabric of his boxers. Jaune's right eye twitched as he glared at Raven, innocently smiling as she gave a small tug.
"…Does 'No' mean nothing to you?" he said weakly as he fought to control his breathing. He gulped as Raven laughed softly and grabbed his hand. She led it to her chest, forcing his fingers to give her a light squeeze as she bit her lip with a small moan.
"What? Can't we have a little fun? What we're doing isn't wrong and I know that others would kill to be in your position." she huskily moaned with a lick of her lips, "I'm just repaying a kindness. And if you're so against this, why not say so?"
"I have said so! Numerous times! I just said no!"
"That's not what your dick is saying~!"
Jaune growled in frustration as he pulled his hair. God damn it! She had him there. No matter how many times he wanted to push her away, he couldn't deny the fact she was sexy! If he had no sense of morals, this wouldn't have been a problem. He would have taken her then and there when she had first proposed having some naughty fun. Except living with mostly females had given him a strong moral compass and respect for woman. Plus, there was one big problem that came with sleeping with Raven.
"Guess who's home, bitches!"
The sound of the door slamming open and a boisterous yell had Raven withdrawing her hand from reaching Jaune's stiff erection in a blink of an eye. With unbelievable speed, she had fixed back her hair, buttoned up her blouse, and fixed her skirt properly before painting on a kind, gentle smile. The seductive raven-haired woman who had been ready to take him to cloud nine had left for the night, and replaced her with a kind and nurturing mother.
'I swear to god, she could be an actor.' How the hell was Raven able to effortlessly switch personalities like that?
Within a few seconds, Yang Xiao Long walked into the kitchen and found her lavender eyes beaming at the messy head of blond hair standing by her mother. She grinned as she ran over, throwing her bag to the side as she brought the lovable goof in for a hug.
"Lover Boy! It's about time you dropped by! I almost thought that you forgot about us." she pouted playfully as she glared at Jaune. He smiled back in apology.
"I don't think I could forget about you guys. You'd find me and beat the memory back into me if I did."
"I'd curb stomp your ass!" Yang grinned brightly before grabbing his head and rubbing her knuckle furiously on his skull. Jaune winced as he endured the noogie, knowing he had it coming. He hadn't really spoken to her for a whole week, too busy to even stop by her workplace and say a simple hello.
Currently, Yang was dressed in a simple waitress uniform, indicating that she had just gotten off work. She dropped her playful rough housing and stepped back, allowing him to get a better look of his best friend for the past six years. It was scary how much she took after her mother, appearing like a younger, more playful Raven with the exception of her lavender eyes and long lustrous yellow hair. At least he now knew where Yang got her flirtatious side from.
Raven sighed at her daughter's antics as she let go of her wincing prey.
"Yang, please be careful with Jaune. He just had a nasty fall. You should know he bruises easily." she chided.
"I do not! Stop comparing me to a banana!"
At the mention of Jaune's fall, Yang finally noticed the fading bruises over Jaune's visible skin. She huffed as she punched his shoulder, earning a yelp from her first best friend.
"Still as clumsy as ever, huh? Even though you're the owner of your own shop, you're still the same old Jaune who can't even get a date. Not even with a girl who obviously likes him." she said mirthfully as Jaune glared at her with a grumble.
"I'm not that obliviou-"
"…I'll shut up now."
Laughing at the old joke to a certain red head, Yang gently ruffled Jaune's hair. After a long day of work, it was nice to be talking with her old bestie. With how life had been going for them both, it wasn't easy for them to find time to hang out anymore. Guess that was the life of an adult.
The smell of something cooking in the oven brought a growl from Yang's stomach as she was reminded of the fact she had missed out on lunch. Turning to Raven she gave the woman hopeful eyes to what was being prepared. The sight was adorable to the raven-haired mother as she smirked.
"Yes, we're having your favorite Shrimp Fried rice along with seasoned pork dumplings and curry for dinner tonight. Along with some of Summer's famous cookies."
"Ma, if you weren't my mother, I'd kiss you right now! Tongue and everything!"
"I know you would." she chuckled softly before turning back to said dinner. "Now, why don't you get yourself ready for dinner? The rice and dumplings are almost done, all that's left is for Jaune to prepare the curry and the cookies to cool. Now hurry up, you smell like a hard day's work. That's not an attractive smell."
Yang stuck her tongue out to her mother's back playfully before turning to do as she said. She needed to wash and fix her hair anyways. Before she left for her room though, she winked back at Jaune.
"Hurry up and finish dinner, Lover Boy! Because this dragon's starving!"
She was never going to let that old nickname die, was she? Well it was better than Ruby's. Lover Boy sounded a thousand times better than Vomit Boy.
With a begrudging sigh, Jaune spun back for the kitchen and fell beside Raven. His hands quickly fell for the chef knife and went to chop the vegetables and spices for the curry. Raven found her eyes falling on the blond boy, intently focused on his preparations and smiled.
For a split second, Jaune's skin darkened slightly to a tanner shade in her sight, his blond locks grew shaggy and he grew some fuzz on his chin, making him look gruffer and mature. Jaune met her gaze and smiled back, his face replaced by an old memory.
She shook it off with a small smile to hide the somberness in her eyes.
"Hmm? Is there something you need?" she asked with a teasing arch of her brow as she wiggled her chest.
Jaune frowned but decided to drop it. No need to sour the night.
"Nah, it's nothing. . .and will you please keep your hands to yourself?"
"You're no fun."
Cheeks puffing out slightly as he fought a satisfied burp, Jaune dropped his head back as he stared at the starry night sky. There was nothing better than a family dinner after a day like today. It was nice to spend time with his favorite family in the city. Especially now that he no longer lived with them. He was his own man now, with his own problems to deal with. No need to drag them into his troubles.
Still though, they butted into his affairs. Digging into the pockets of his jeans, he pulled out two slips of papers with addresses and scroll numbers to contact later, courtesy of both Yang and Raven. He didn't like people helping him, but he wouldn't pass up a chance to earn another client today, not after losing two already. Money was money after all.
Speaking of which, he was at least happy to now have some Lien back into his account. Borrowing Ruby's laptop really quick, Jaune went to work on selling one of his collectables for a pretty penny. More than enough to pay off what he owed Silvia and then some. Even with the defect worrying him on the action figure, he was overjoyed to find out it only made it more valuable. Now he didn't have to worry about losing one of his boys to the snake woman. For this month.
Jaune dragged out a tired sigh as he scratched the side of his head, "Sometimes I wonder if I should have gone home after Highschool. I wouldn't have had to deal with all this crap if I did." he grumbled to himself, kicking a battered soda can around as he headed home. "Things were so much easier when I let everyone help me."
But Jaune grew tired of being cuddled like he couldn't do a thing for himself. It was why he had left for a school far from home. So, he could make something of himself, by himself. Lot good that was doing him though.
Well, he had gone this far already. No point in whining and calling quits. His mother didn't raise a quitter.
The alarming sounds of multiple sirens going off at the distance caught Jaune's attention and he frowned at the sight of blue and red lights coming closer. Several police cruisers suddenly sped past him, kicking up a tussling wind that blew back his locks. Jaune squinted as he looked after the vanishing sirens curiously. He shrugged, paying it no mind as he went on home.
"Guess something must have gone down. Count my blessings I'm not heading that way."
He chuckled to himself while making a mental note to contact the possible employment offers he received.
It looked like he found himself with some luck today.
Dark clouds gathered overhead as a small figure ran the dark alleyways. Trashcans were thrown out of the way as stray cats hissed and jumped out of the way of the human running past them in a hurry. The sirens were growing closer, causing them to pick up their speed.
But exhaustion won out as the figure found themselves tripping over several pieces of trash and twisted their ankle. The figure hit the ground with a thud that caused several trashcans nearby to fall over them. Hidden by a bed of litter, the several flashlights peeking into the scene passed over them and left with fading hurried footsteps and angry shouts. Their heavy blue eye shut, happy to have lost their pursuers as they felt their strength fade.
The drop of rain hit the blanket of trash over their body, sliding down to soak their rusty red hair. The girl couldn't fight much longer and found herself slipping into unconsciousness.
"Mission. . .failed."
In a world with no Grimm, no Huntsman, and the world in 'peace', what kind of story can be told? Stories of great warriors and dark creatures have been left forgotten. Heroes no longer walk the earth. Your Soul can no longer protect you.
But Souls manifest themselves no matter how hard you try to hide them.
Fate has reared its head. But you have a chance to avoid it.
And there we have it! A Jaune of all Trades, an AU/Modern fic set in a world where the world has fallen into peace after The Great War. A true peace where the darkness that has threatened mankind and faunus has vanished. There is no need for Huntsman or Huntresses anymore.
But Negativity still exists. And shadows still linger.
All of which Jaune knows nothing about. He's too worried about a certain raven sinking her teeth into him.
This story is a mix of two of my favorite mangas, Gintama and Hitman Reborn. They have greatly influenced the story when I had first played around with the idea after the revelation of Blake and Weiss's mothers still breathing. Funny how ideas are born, huh? This is of course an Adventure/Humor fic with a good amount of Action and some Romance thrown in. Of course I have lots to say about the fic, but I don't want to spoil anything. My One-shot does plenty of that already. But that was a one-shot, not everything that made it there will be in the fic. A lot has changed since then, so there is much ahead.
I will say this, to those I know will ask. This is a Harem of sorts. Don't take too seriously, it's mostly for comedic effect and does work with the story. The final pairing is a secret. Which means only one thing; PLACE YOUR BETS! Times like this I just gamble about the pairings, like what I do with RWBY now.
If you got any questions, leave a Review! And if your new to my stories, check out Multiplayer. It's a Gamer fic, but trust me, it's nothing like you've seen before. Plus it's not littered with Stats and numbers.
Now, I got to go. I got some sexy highschool girls fighting monsters to watch.
Reand and Review! It's common courtesy.
NeoShadows fading in and out.